Many pets are recent additions to households across Houston. In 2020, pet ownership in the U.S. rose to an all-time high of 70%. For new pet owners, here are things to consider for summer and year long pet safety:
Heat Safety Tips
- Provide Access to Plenty of Fresh Water and Shade – To avoid pet heat exhaustion, make sure your pets have access to cool, fresh water and shade all day long.
- Never Leave Your Animals Alone in a Parked Vehicle –Not Even with the Window Cracked – When it’s 80 degrees outside it can get to 99 degrees inside after 10 minutes and 114 after 30 minutes. It can lead to fatal heat stroke.
- Keep Paws Away from Hot Pavement – If it’s too hot for bare feet, it’s too hot for bare paws.
- Know the Signs of Overheating – Excessive panting or difficulty breathing, red or purple gums or tongue, vomiting, and weakness.
Fire Safety Tips
- Keep Pets Near Entrances – When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them.
- Keep the Phone Number and Address of a Local Animal Hospital Handy – If your pet is injured, you’ll need to know where to take them for treatment quickly.
- Pet-Proof Your Home – Ensure there are no areas where pets can start fires accidentally (including stove knobs, loose wires, candles, fireplaces, and other potential hazards). Never leave a pet unattended with a lit candle or fireplace.
- Get a Pet Alert Window Cling – Write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. Make sure to keep the number of pets listed on them updated.
Pet Safety for Emergencies
- Have an Emergency Plan – Include all members of the family in this plan, and make sure they know what to do and where to go. Also, be sure you have copies of your pets most recent medical records to take with you.
- Practicing Escape Routes with Pets –Keep collars and leashes at the ready in case you must evacuate quickly with your pet or firefighters need to rescue your pet.
- Note Where Your Pets Like to Nap or Hide – This is important if you must evacuate your home quickly. Remember that pets can be exponentially more difficult to round up if they sense stress—especially cats! Practice crating your pets in advance to make it a positive experience, so they don’t go running when you pull out their crate during any type of emergency.
- Have Your Pet Microchipped – Make sure to keep your address and phone number up-to-date and include contact information for an emergency contact outside of your immediate area.
- Build a Kit for Your Pet – Just as you do with your family’s emergency supply kit, think first about the basics for survival, such as food and water.
If your interested in adopting a pet of your own, check out BARC.